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Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to
modern times. _______________________________________________________________________________ 4
1) Compare and contrast the forms and contribution of the Musical Trinity of Carnatic music. (200 Words) ___________ 4
2) Examine Afghanistans heritage and cultural significance to the world and India. (200 Words)____________________ 5

Topic: Secularism ____________________________________________________________________________ 6


3) Do you think the implementation of Uniform Civil Code will pave the way for national integration and strengthen
secularism in the country? Critically examine. (200 Words) ___________________________________________________ 6

Topic: Role of women; Social empowerment _______________________________________________________ 8


4) Critically analyse how the Draft National Policy for Women 2016 seeks to empower women. (200 Words) _________ 8
5) In the light of recent conflicts and politics, do you think dialogue, discussion and debate could empower Dalits?
Critically comment. (200 Words)________________________________________________________________________ 10
6) Critically comment on the views of courts and various muslim boards on the issue of triple talaq. In your opinion,
what ethical issues does triple talaq give rise to? Discuss. (200 Words) ________________________________________ 11
7) A gender equality index from the Center for Global Economic History shows that while there has been a general
improvement in the relative position of women during the past century, we have seen little in the way of convergence
between countries. Discuss the causes of gender gap across countries and impact of this gap on economic growth. (200
Words)_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 12
8) Although laws like the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and other laws are supposed to grant
Muslim women rights and protect them from discriminatory customary laws, the absence of codification of Muslim
personal laws has resulted in many of the rights granted in religious texts getting negated or diluted. Discuss. (200
Words)_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 14
9) Economic freedom and legal status of women are the determinants of economic growth and development.
Illustrate. (200 Words) ________________________________________________________________________________ 15
10) Do you think the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is the best bet to ensure equal rights and justice for women of Hindu and
Muslim religions? Critically discuss. (200 Words) __________________________________________________________ 16
11) Quotas and reservation no longer embody a search for justice, but an interest group politics where the powerful
seek to accumulate more power. In the light of ongoing agitations by powerful castes seeking reservation, critically
comment on the statement. (200 Words) ________________________________________________________________ 17
12) Capitalism itself has coopted the caste system to enable an intensified form of the exploitation of the labour of the
Scheduled Castes. Do you agree? Critically comment. (200 Words) __________________________________________ 18
13) Critically analyse the causes and significance of recent Maratha protest marches across Maharashtra. (200 Words) 19
14) In your opinion, which solutions are needed to help annihilate caste-based exploitation in India? Has economic
advancement helped achieve Dalit empowerment? Critically comment. (200 Words) ____________________________ 21

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15) The rationale behind instituting reservation in jobs and educational institutions was not to eliminate economic
inequality but to dismantle the monopoly of a few castes in government services and educational institutions and to
create equal opportunities for the backward classes in an otherwise unequal society. Discuss. (200 Words) ________ 23

Topic: Population and associated issues, _________________________________________________________ 24


16) Our world is estimated to currently host 7.4 billion people, and this is projected to rise to 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.9
billion in 2050. How will increase in population affect SDGs? Do you think Africa should be blamed for increasing
population? Critically examine. (200 Words) ______________________________________________________________ 24

Topic: Poverty and developmental issues ________________________________________________________ 25


17) A recent report of UNICEF has revealed that millions of children around the world are victims of violence and
trafficking, and are in dire need of help. Do you think Millennium Development Goals have failed to deliver? Discuss the
issue of refugee children and measures needed to address this issue. (200 Words) ______________________________ 25
18) Analyse why achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is important for India. (200 Words) _____________ 26
19) In its recent report, the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) has said that inequality is
the fundamental reason for the sluggishness in world trade. Examine why. (200 Words) _________________________ 27

Topic: Globalization effects on Indian society ____________________________________________________ 27


20) Critically discuss failures of globalization and their implications. (200 Words) _______________________________ 27
21) Do you think free trade, a component of globalisation, is creating inequality around the world? Critically examine.
(200 Words) ________________________________________________________________________________________ 29
22) Discuss the impact of globalization on Indias middle class. (200 Words) ____________________________________ 29
23) It is said that the next phase of globalization will pose many challenges and opportunities for India. What will be the
nature of next wave of globalization? How should India make use of this new wave? Discuss. (200 Words) __________ 30
24) Differentiate between globalism and globalization. Do you think both are good for the world? Substantiate. (200
Words)_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 32

Topic: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and
the effects of such changes. ___________________________________________________________________ 34
25) This year, floods have occurred even in areas that are arid or have received less than normal rainfall. As erratic
weather events become more common with climate change, India urgently needs to formulate a national flood
management policy. Discuss. (200 Words)________________________________________________________________ 34
26) Discuss the effect of global warming on oceans. (200 Words) _____________________________________________ 36
27) In the light of climate change and erratic monsoons, what long term measures should be taken to solve water
problem in the Cauvery River basin? Examine. (200 Words) _________________________________________________ 36

Topic: World geography ______________________________________________________________________ 37


28) What are stromatolites? Why their discovery is important to understand geological history of the earth? (200 Words)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ 37

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent)
__________________________________________________________________________________________ 38
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29) From geographical perspective, critically analyse why the Cauvery River water dispute is complicated and has not
found a viable solution till date. (200 Words) _____________________________________________________________ 38
30) Drafts of two proposed new laws recently released by the Ministry of Water Resources, along with the report of an
expert committee headed by a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, Mihir Shah, on institutional reforms in
the water sector, have proposed radical changes in the way water is used and managed in India. Discuss what reforms
does these laws and committee propose. (200 Words). _____________________________________________________ 39

Topic: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies. ____________________________________________ 41


31) For multiple reasons, Indian cities are largely auto-constructed. Put simply: they have been built not by the
intentions of planners or architects but by people themselves. What challenges this type of urbanization in India has
posed to dwellers and policymakers? Examine. (200 Words) ________________________________________________ 41
32) What and how should public transit systems in Indian cities learn from aggregators service providers like Uber and
Ola? Examine. (200 Words) ____________________________________________________________________________ 42
33) In recent years, cities have become war theatres for global terrorism. What makes cities targets of terrorism? How
should they prepare to fight terrorism? Discuss. (200 Words) ________________________________________________ 42
34) Recently, Bangalore witnessed violent mobs setting fire to private and government properties in the wake of River
Cauvery water sharing judgement by the Supreme Court. Why do you think metropolitan city like Bangalore witnessed
such a violent event? What systemic issues should be addressed to prevent such incidences? Critically examine. (200
Words)_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 43

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GS - I
Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to
modern times.
1) Compare and contrast the forms and contribution of the Musical Trinity of
Carnatic music. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Background:

The Trinity of Carnatic music refer to the outstanding trio of composer-musicians of Carnatic
music in the 18th century, being Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri.
What distinguished the Trinity from other composers of Carnatic music is not only the number of
compositions they composed but the messages that their songs contained the contributions of
the Carnatic music Trinities to Indian philosophy and spirituality is unparalled.

Shyam Shastri :

Shyama Shastri is said to be the architect of the swarajati musical form.


Another famous work by him is the nine kritis known as the Navaratnamalika (the garland of nine
gems) in praise of Goddess Meenakshi of Madhura.
The most outstanding feature of his work is his expert employment of rhythm to create magic in his
music.
Many a time, he has made use of five-syllabic words like sarasamukhi, varamosagu and so on that
correspond to rhythmic musical phrase
.He specialized in the Misra Chapu tala, where he not only used the normal pattern (3+4), but also
the reverse (4+3), called the Viloma Chapu.
In the use of swarakshara, that is when both the notes and the words have identical syllables, he
was an absolute genius .
His favourite raga seems to be the Anandabhairavi, an old raga used in folk music, which acquired
special status after he used it for some of his masterpieces.

Tyagaraja:

Tyagaraja is most famous for his Pancharatna kritis (the five gems). However, his outstanding
contribution was the introduction of the sangati - a set of variations on a theme - in the kriti
format. Kritis are usually poems set to music.
He composed both in Telugu and SanskritHe looked upon music only as a means and a path to
become one with God.
Thyagaraja Swami was the first composer whose compositions dealt with human beings - their
problems, society's ills and the consequent belief in wrong values.

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Muthuswamy Dikshithar:

Noted for the integration of Hindustani themes, for his gamakas ornamentation of the ragas, his
group kritis or group compositions on the planets.
He was the only composer who had kritis in all the seven basic talas of the Carnatic scheme
He also composed in all the 72 melakartha ragas, in his asampurna mela scheme.
Many of Dikshitars songs talk of the places he visited, the history of the temples, the customs and
traditions followed and so on and have thus become valuable sources of historical information.
The Tanjore Quartet, revered as the prime composers of music for the classical dance form of
Bharatanatyam,was taught music by Dikshitar.

Similarities:

A close examination of the kritis of these two great composers in one and the same raga side by
side will bear ample testimony to the fact that they vie with each other in point of purity and
richness of raga bhava and they form a class by themselvesNew raga creations:
The manner of handling of certain ragas by Dikshitar and Tyagaraja may particularly be noted in this
context. A good number of ragas are accredited to Tyagaraja as having been created for the first
time through his kritis. Dikshitar has given us the benefit for the archaic forms of some ragas.
Like Thyagaraja, Dikshitar has composed several "sthala" kritis or compositions in praise of the God
or Goddess of a holy town.

Differences:

Dikshitar raga forms are large scale products, massive in structure and closely knit in texture. In
Tyagaraja, we have abridged editions as well as enlarged ones of ragas
Different atmosphere:
o Creation of an altogether different atmosphere is quite perceptible in one and the same
raga, cast by the two different composers.
Language used:
o Most of Dikshitar's kritis were in written in the Sanksrit language but some were in Telugu
and a few even in Manipravalam or more than one language.Tyagaraja mostly in Telugu and
some in Sanskrit

2) Examine Afghanistans heritage and cultural significance to the world and India.
(200 Words)
The Hindu

Significance to the world:

Afghanistan is rich in ancient treasures and was a very key stop on the legendary silk road.

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The Afghan lapis-lazuli, a brilliant blue semi-precious gemstone, was used as decoration by the
Egyptian pharaohs
Its unique cultural heritage reflects a history that is marked by the complex indigenous encounters
between Achemenid Persia, Alexandrian Greece, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.
The historical town of Balkh in northern Afghanistan, known to the ancient Greeks as Bactra, where
an incredible amount of gold was discovered.

Significance to India:

Afghanistan heritage links with Indian date back to Indus valley civilisation times when it exported
lapis lazuli to the civilisation.
Afghanistan has been the abode of Buddhist architecture with world heritage sites like
Bamiyan,Herat,Mes Aynak etc.
Many of the rulers like kushans,sakas,parthians etc who ruled India are from Afghanistan.
Hellenistic style depictions of Buddha known as the Gandhara school of art in India was practised in
Afghanistan .

Concerns:

Afghanistan treasure has been ravaged by war and plagued by looters.


After 30 years of conflicts, Afghanistans cultural heritage is in dire straits.
In 2012, a single consignment handed over by the British Armed Forces to the National Museum of
Afghanistan saw the return of more than 800 items that were carried illegally into the UK.
This slow leak compounds catastrophic losses such as the Taliban's demolition of the 35- and 53metre tall Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001.

Topic: Secularism
3) Do you think the implementation of Uniform Civil Code will pave the way for
national integration and strengthen secularism in the country? Critically examine.
(200 Words)
Livemint
Background:

Uniform civil code generally refers to that part of law which deals with family affairs of an
individual and denotes uniform law for all citizens, irrespective of his/her religion, caste or tribe.
Family affairs such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, guardianship and adoption are legally
permitted to be governed by customs or rules applicable to the persons and their
community. Even after the independence and people were permitted to follow their respective
personal laws.

Yes, UCC is the solution:

Communalism breeds discrimination at two levels:

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o between people of different religions


o between the two sexes. This dangerous and ruinous effect should be done away with,
possibly by introducing a Uniform Civil Code.
For women who constitute almost half the population of India, the Uniform Civil Code provides
with equality and justice in courts of law- irrespective of their religion in matters pertaining to
marriage , divorce, maintenance, custody of children, inheritance rights, adoption etc.
It would help and accelerate national integration
Overlapping provisions of law could be avoided
Litigation due to personal law world decrease
Sense of oneness and the national spirit would be roused
o Israel, Japan, France and Russia are strong today because of their sense of oneness which
India has yet to develop and propagate.
The country would emerge with new force and power to face any odds finally defeating the
communal and the divisionist forces.
India has set before itself the ideal of a secular society and in that context achievement of a
uniform civil code becomes all the more desirable such a code will simplify the Indian legal system
and make Indian society more homogeneous.
It will de-link law from religion which is a very desirable objective to achieve in a secular and
socialist pattern of society.
o The continuance of various personal laws which accept discrimination between men and
women violate the fundamental rights and the Preamble to the Constitution which promises
to secure to all citizens equality of status, and is against the spirit of natural integration.
o The four cases of, Shah Bano Begum , Mary Roy , National Anthem and Sarla Mudgal ,
expose the domination of religion over a community be it Muslim, Syrian Christian
or Jehovites. India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and the State has
no religion.so uniform civil code is needed.

No:

The family life of Indians is guided by their respective religious and customary beliefs. Religions
more or less survive only through the ceremonies and social customs enforced upon its members. If
they are negated, soon enough religions will lose their eminence in social sphere.
If a different set of rules that violate the religious precepts are enforced upon individuals
that would negate the fundamental rights of Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice
and propagation of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
When India considers the honour killings and Khap Panchayat verdicts, they all want to enforce
their religious and customary beliefs on the members of their family and community. If a system
other than what conforms to their faith is forced up on them, it invariably leads to social unrest.
UCC is used more often than not as a tool for minority bashing rather than genuine social
reforms.
o Such minority bashing will only make the members of those communities more possessive
about their identity and customs, thereby further reducing any scope for a UCC.

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Suggestions:

Ensure certain bottom line rules through general laws.


o For example, Prohibition of Child marriage Act, 2006 is a general law that prevails over all
personal laws.
o Any conditions that are considered appropriate can be incorporated in that Act so as to
ensure no child marriage takes place even if personal laws permit it
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC):
o This section provides a system by which courts are permitted to pass orders for
maintenance of wives, children and parents, under criminal procedures, irrespective of
persons religious status.
As far as personal laws are concerned, what India needs is to bring reforms in each of them to
make them relevant for the changing times. Instead of an external enforcement, let these changes
be internal reforms. That is better for the preservation of social fabric of the nation and sense of
belongingness of its people.

Topic: Role of women; Social empowerment


4) Critically analyse how the Draft National Policy for Women 2016 seeks to
empower women. (200 Words)
EPW
Positives:

There is considerable emphasis on the conditions of single women, migrants and the elderly in
the draft document.
Progressive document in tune with the times
The policy also marks a shift from a welfare-oriented approach on gender issues to a rights-based
approach.
The draft policy document promises to ensure better coordination between ministries, offer
specific and achievable action points and targets, follow gender-based budgeting norms, and focus
on data collection.
The policy also notes that cyber crime and harassment of women through mobile phones and
social media is on the rise but the regulatory framework has not kept pace with the technological
changes
The policy pins its hope on gender sensitisation to wean away families from these patriarchal
moorings
The measures outlined in the policy include a coordinated referral transport system for safe
deliveries and emergency obstetric care to be made available in difficult, remote and isolated
areas.
o It also mentions implementing gender transformative health strategy which shifts the focus
of family planning efforts from female sterilisation to male sterilisation.

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The policy also zooms in on prioritising the nutrition of women of all ages and strengthening
geriatric services to address women aged above 60.
To enrol more girls in secondary schools and retain current girl students, the draft policy
addresses the problem of navigating the distance from home to school by suggesting innovative
transportation models such as cluster pooling of mini buses.
To instil respect for women in men from a young age, the policy talks of engaging men and boys
through advocacy, awareness generation programmes and community programmes.
The draft policy also mentions designing a comprehensive social protection mechanism to address
the vulnerabilities of widows, single, deserted, separated and divorced women and create
opportunities for them.
Policy focuses on the trafficking of women.
On reinforcing safety measures for women, the draft policy features show efforts to develop a
compatible and comprehensive database on violence against women, strict monitoring of the
response of (law) enforcement agencies to violence against women, time-bound trial of heinous
crimes against women, strengthening naari adalats and family courts, etc.
The draft policy also focuses on increased participation of women in workforce and politics
narrowing the gender-based wage gap, creating entrepreneurial opportunities for women ,
recognising womens unpaid work in terms of economic and societal value, achieving gender equity
in agriculture.
The new policy has suggested dependent care and child care leave not for just working women,
but working men too.

Negatives :

The policy does not offer many insights into future challenges and runs the risk of being outdated
even before its prescribed road map for the next 15 or 20 years.
o Those challenges characterised as emerging issues in the policy document like cyber crime,
the pluracy of personal laws, artificial reproductive techniques, redistribution of gender
roles, and the rights of single women, have been recognised for nearly a decade now.
The National Policy for Women falls short of being truly a rights-based approach for policymaking.
o It does not wholly commit to the fact that it is the duty and not liability of the government
to address the rights of women; rather it continues to posit that women need to be
protected and provided for.
Unfortunately, the objectives of the National Policy for Empowerment of Women 2001 and
National Policy for Women 2016 are entirely similar
Policy actually reminds people how the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has
failed in its attempts to resolve issues.
o For example, there are loopholes in the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of
Women at Workplace Act, 2013 (SHWW Act 2013).
There is no working method for the MWCD to ascertain that all workplaces have instituted a
complaints committee and there is no evidence of any monitoring of complaints by the
government as required by the act.

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o Instead, the policy replicates this provision by proposing to set up another responsive
complaint mechanism to address discriminatory attitudes within educational institutions

Duplication:
o There are existing guidelines to address surrogacy
o There is an entire Ministry of Skill Development to ensure that the entrepreneurial
capabilities of individuals in this country are nurtured
Most of the policy goals mentioned need inter-ministerial collaboration. Six of its seven priority
areas are dependent on collaboration with other ministries
Despite intending to be futuristic it has not fully shrugged off its welfare perspective with regard
to women.
A more concerted effort towards resolving problems by diminishing the grass-roots causes would
definitely have been more appreciated.
o For instance, it has been realised that early sex education in schools has had an impact in
curtailing incidents of sexual assault later as individuals realise the value of consent before
establishing a sexual relationship.
The policy does not mention the possibility of engaging with this point of view to address sexual
violence against women. Rather, it continues to look for solutions once the act is committed.

What is needed?

Much improvement is needed in measures and laws that are already in place.
For example, there is a need to have a systematic approach to provide requisite screening, care
and treatment for women suffering from mental disorders as mentioned in the policy but the
Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 still awaits enactment.
Similarly, the SHWW Act, 2013 still awaits full implementation with no system in place to
determine whether every workplace has instituted an Internal Complaints Committee .

5) In the light of recent conflicts and politics, do you think dialogue, discussion and
debate could empower Dalits? Critically comment. (200 Words)
The Indian Express
Dialogue, discussion and debate empower dalits:

Dalit empowerment will encompass representation, which would be made possible through
integration and not confrontation.
Any strategy of Dalit empowerment could emerge through consensus and not conflict, through
dialogue and not dominance.
Discussion and dialogue can make other communities realise the perspective of the dalits and how
they are treated.
It will also make dalits aware of various opportunities that are provided to them by the government
like the stand up India which gives incentives for the SC entrepreneurs.

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The Dalit movements in Gujarat ,Maharashtra in the recent months shows that this has brought in
consolidation of the community and demanding their rights guaranteed by the constitution to be
upheld.

Discussion, debate and dialogue cannot empower Dalits :

One single biggest challenge to fraternity today is the hierarchical caste system. Its roots are no
doubt very deep. But its distorted and utterly discriminatory manifestation today has no sanction in
any Hindu Dharmashastras.
o Hierarchical casteism is entrenched in the social psyche, and that is where the battle is.
Dalits are still socioeconomic economically backward in terms of education.
Reservations for socioeconomic backward classes is understood as an obstacle for the forward
castes interests.

What needs to be done?

Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna, MUDRA, Stand-up India and Venture Capital Fund have to be
promoted to make more people self-reliant in the country.

6) Critically comment on the views of courts and various muslim boards on the issue
of triple talaq. In your opinion, what ethical issues does triple talaq give rise to?
Discuss. (200 Words)
Negatives:

The supreme Court judgement has not stopped the practice


many Muslim women are unaware of the judgments or have had to accept such pronouncements
owing to pressure from conservative sections
The Muslim board views shows the patriarchal mindset that men have more power in decision
making and instant talaq would avoid lengthy court proceedings. It maintains it is a valid and
effective form of laying a marriage asunder.
there is no sanction for the triple talaq in the Koran, which has laid down elaborate injunctions on
divorce, in stark contrast to the immediate and irrevocable nature of the triple talaq.
This practice has been either explicitly derecognised in Muslim-majority countries such as
Indonesia, Iran and Tunisia or implicitly in countries such as Pakistan, which provides for a
mandatory arbitration procedure after the pronouncement of talaq.

Positives:
Uttering the word talaq thrice, was rendered legally invalid by the Shamim Ara vs State of UP
judgment of 2002 and subsequent orders from various High Courts.

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Ethical issues:
Right to equality: Considering the clear and elaborately laid-down norms on marriage in the Koran that
grant equal rights to the husband and wife to pursue divorce proceedings and the right to equality
guaranteed in the Indian Constitution, it is high time that the Supreme Court ruled this practice as
illegal.
7) A gender equality index from the Center for Global Economic History shows that
while there has been a general improvement in the relative position of women during
the past century, we have seen little in the way of convergence between countries.
Discuss the causes of gender gap across countries and impact of this gap on
economic growth. (200 Words)
Livemint
Causes of gender gap and impact on growth:
However statistics reveal that improvement in education hasnt chipped away at the gender
disparity in employment.
Indias overall female labour force participation (FLFP) rate remains low and has, in fact, dropped
from 35% in 1991 to 27% in 2014. For comparison, as per World Bank data, the world average is
around 50% and South Asia is at 31%.
The participation of women has also decreased .Study says that women account for only 24% of
senior management roles globally. A 2015 survey made by the same non-profit in India shows that
women held 19% of senior manager roles, but only 14% did so at the executive level.
The International Labour Organisation has pointed to various reasons for lack of employment for
the women force :
o higher educational enrolment of women
o rising household incomes (women in wealthier households tend to have lower work
participation rates)
o measurement issues (whereby womens employment may be undercounted),
o general decline in employment opportunities for women.
Despite Tamilnadu and Maharshtra allowing women to work at night shifts , there hasnt been
much of an improvement in female labour force participation rate in Tamil Nadu too.
Within the manufacturing and services sectors, the areas where night shift is required constitute
only a small proportion of the total jobs. Hence, the impact of this legislation will be statistically
insignificant.
Moreover, overall employment growth has been slack and unless this picks up, female job
participation would remain low
there is also the question of whether women themselves are ready to work nights. Various
researchers have pointed to socio-cultural norms that restrict womens mobility.
o An Assocham-National Commission for Women study highlighted the concerns of women
who are already working night shifts in industries like the business process outsourcing
sector.
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o Close to one-third of women working night shifts felt unsafe, especially in the cities of
Bangalore and Ludhiana
Gender inequality is deeply rooted in family structures..
In the Arab states, female labor force participation is a particular problem, reaching a low of about
15 percent in Iraq and Syria.
o By contrast, in sub-Saharan Africa women tend to engage actively in the labor market but
carry a high reproductive burden, with a fertility rate of just under five children per woman.
Child marriage is a related problem, not just in Africa but also in South Asia, where more
than one in two women aged 20 to 49 married as a child.

However countries have been narrowing the gender gap because of various measures like:

There is more ambition and confidence amongst women, perhaps also helped by greater
participation of men in household responsibilities, as well as greater organizational focus.
Education is an indicator of the increasing role of women in economic growth. The gross enrolment
ratio (GER) of girls in elementary education has improved dramatically, from 66% in 1991 to 97% in
2014
The recent proposal by the government that states should allow women to work during night
shifts will give a further impetus to the participation rate.
At Bain in India, it has recently implemented a 10+2 model, which allows any employee male or
female the option to work 10 months in the year and take two months off. The benefits are much
larger, including enabling fulfilment of ones personal aspirations and helping individuals avoid
burnout.

What has to be done?


IMF study- shrinking the gender differences in employment could expand Indias gross domestic

product (GDP) by 27%.


Unlocking this potential definitely requires an increase and shift in the composition of overall
employment opportunities as well as questioning of societal strictures.
Diversity targets have helped elevate the issue, thereby pushing organizations to identify women
with high potential and ensure that they are provided opportunities to accelerate.
Another positive move is the increasing openness of organizations to extend paid maternity leave
beyond the grossly insufficient three months mandated by law
Female role models especially in leadership positions have to be encouraged to provide motivation
to women
Small things, such as having a designated women room (especially great for breastfeeding
mothers), to larger-impact ones like a six-month maternity (leave) and also, a variety of flex
policies and work from home (options) that benefit both men and women Need to be
encouraged in the organisations .
Across East Asia, countries that have managed to increase the female LFPR have done this by
increasing manufacturing jobs. Indian women work mostly in the informal sector . This needs a
change
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Women need to be provided with self defence training .

Issues such as womens safety and restrictive socio-cultural norms need to be addressed, then
only womens participation in the workforce is likely to rise.
Tamilnadu example-employer ensured her safety and security at the factory and on the commute
to and from work. This can be replicated else where.
8) Although laws like the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and
other laws are supposed to grant Muslim women rights and protect them from
discriminatory customary laws, the absence of codification of Muslim personal laws
has resulted in many of the rights granted in religious texts getting negated or
diluted. Discuss. (200 Words)
EPW
Absence of codification of musli personal laws has resulted in many of the rights granted in religious
texts diluted:

The 'triple divorce' negates both equality and dignity of Muslim women as human beings and
citizens of India and can have no place in a civilised society. In fact the Personal Law Board
publication titled The Compendium of Islamic Laws itself describes this form of divorce as "talaq
bidat ( innovation). It is indeed bad because it seeks to dehumanise women.
Based on the provisions of Quran that it prescribes monogamy as a norm and allows polygamy
under very extraordinary circumstances.
Women decide for themselves whether or not to cover. Perhaps the best Quranic verse to
describe a womans rights under Islam is: There is no compulsion in religion. That is, it is up to a
persons free will to choose what to accept as a religious obligation.
o For some it is the covering of their hair, for others the emphasis is on the inner
development of ethical values. However it is considered mandatory.
The misinterpretations of the text, owing to patriarchal mindsets in the last 1400 years, have
resulted in women being treated as second class human beings.
Different faiths, including religious minorities, have their respective family laws which are
periodically amended. It is only Muslims whose family laws are from the British era, dating back
to 1937 and 1939. They are highly incomplete and do not address questions on age of marriage,
triple talaq, polygamy, inheritance, property rights and the custody of children.

India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:

A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on
religious practices.
Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are
usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic
example.

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Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed
in the Indian Constitution. Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government
should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.

9) Economic freedom and legal status of women are the determinants of economic
growth and development. Illustrate. (200 Words)
Livemint
Yes, they are the determinants of economic growth and development:

The country with an environment more favorable to business will grow at a faster pace than the
one with an environment less friendly to business.
Non-economic determinants like economic freedom and legal protection also play an important
role in economic growth. They define the environment under which the factors of production,
labor and capital can perform.
Sub-indexes of the economic freedom index is trade freedom, which can be linked to the
spectacular economic growth achieved by Asian Tiger countries during the 90s with the help of
export-promotion policies.
o Under this policy, these countries provide incentives to export-promotion industries to
achieve rapid growth of output, employment and income.
Muslim countries fare badly when it comes to the legal protections offered to women to take
advantage of economic freedom. The European countries do very well.
Higher proportion of women in the labour force will boost economic growth, as was the case in
most successful Asian economies.
Political stability and legal support for developmental activities creates a better environment for
development. Reforms in the form of industrial policy reforms, labour reforms etc. should be
enacted through proper legislation.

No:

legal rights of women are not the only factor that need to be considered when it comes to
understanding gender disparity. Social norms are equally important.
o social norms deny the possibilities of economic freedom to women. These social norms
cannot necessarily be changed by government orders. It will be a slower process of reform
from within society.
o constitutional rights of women can sometimes be cramped because of outdated social
norms
Economic progress is very much associated with the spread of education. Education brings
revolutions in ideas for economic progress. Education provides stimulus to economic growth as it
teaches honesty, patriotism and adventure. Thus education is working as an engine for economic
development.

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10) Do you think the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is the best bet to ensure equal rights
and justice for women of Hindu and Muslim religions? Critically discuss. (200
Words)
The Hindu
Background:

Uniform civil code generally refers to that part of law which deals with family affairs of an
individual and denotes uniform law for all citizens, irrespective of his/her religion, caste or tribe.
Family affairs such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, guardianship and adoption are legally
permitted to be governed by customs or rules applicable to the persons and their
community. Even after the independence and people were permitted to follow their respective
personal laws.

Yes, UCC is the solution:

For women who constitute almost half the population of India, the Uniform Civil Code provides
with equality and justice in courts of law- irrespective of their religion in matters pertaining to
marriage , divorce, maintenance, custody of children, inheritance rights, adoption etc.
Communalism breeds discrimination at two levels:
o between people of different religions
o between the two sexes. This dangerous and ruinous effect should be done away with,
possibly by introducing a Uniform Civil Code.
It would help and accelerate national integration
Overlapping provisions of law could be avoided
Litigation due to personal law world decrease
Sense of oneness and the national spirit would be roused
o Israel, Japan, France and Russia are strong today because of their sense of oneness which
India has yet to develop and propagate.
The country would emerge with new force and power to face any odds finally defeating the
communal and the divisionist forces.
India has set before itself the ideal of a secular society and in that context achievement of a
uniform civil code becomes all the more desirable such a code will simplify the Indian legal system
and make Indian society more homogeneous.
It will de-link law from religion which is a very desirable objective to achieve in a secular and
socialist pattern of society.
o The continuance of various personal laws which accept discrimination between men and
women violate the fundamental rights and the Preamble to the Constitution which promises
to secure to all citizens equality of status, and is against the spirit of natural integration.
o The four cases of, Shah Bano Begum , Mary Roy , National Anthem and Sarla Mudgal ,
expose the domination of religion over a community be it Muslim, Syrian Christian
or Jehovites. India is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and the State has
no religion.so uniform civil code is needed.

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No:

The family life of Indians is guided by their respective religious and customary beliefs. Religions
more or less survive only through the ceremonies and social customs enforced upon its members. If
they are negated, soon enough religions will lose their eminence in social sphere.
If a different set of rules that violate the religious precepts are enforced upon individuals
that would negate the fundamental rights of Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice
and propagation of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
When India considers the honour killings and Khap Panchayat verdicts, they all want to enforce
their religious and customary beliefs on the members of their family and community. If a system
other than what conforms to their faith is forced up on them, it invariably leads to social unrest.
UCC is used more often than not as a tool for minority bashing rather than genuine social
reforms.
o Such minority bashing will only make the members of those communities more possessive
about their identity and customs, thereby further reducing any scope for a UCC.
Suggestions:

Ensure certain bottom line rules through general laws.


o For example, Prohibition of Child marriage Act, 2006 is a general law that prevails over all
personal laws.
o Any conditions that are considered appropriate can be incorporated in that Act so as to
ensure no child marriage takes place even if personal laws permit it
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC):
o This section provides a system by which courts are permitted to pass orders for
maintenance of wives, children and parents, under criminal procedures, irrespective of
persons religious status.
As far as personal laws are concerned, what India needs is to bring reforms in each of them to
make them relevant for the changing times. Instead of an external enforcement, let these changes
be internal reforms. That is better for the preservation of social fabric of the nation and sense of
belongingness of its people.

11) Quotas and reservation no longer embody a search for justice, but an interest
group politics where the powerful seek to accumulate more power. In the light of
ongoing agitations by powerful castes seeking reservation, critically comment on
the statement. (200 Words)
The Hindu
In the light of the recent protests by the upper castes like Jats in haryana,marathas in Maharashtra this
issue has come to the forefront.
Yes, reservation has become an avenue to accumulate more power:

The upper caste protests convey a sense of threat, of aggression and violence.
For upper castes democracy appears relevant as long as it sustains them instrumentally in power.

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Marathas, Jats ,Patel's despite their consolidation of power in their respective states are asking for
more share in the reservation.
o Marathas a dominant community with roughly 33 per cent of the population and which has
electorally dominated State politics, virtually controlled the powerful cooperative
movement now play helpless and vulnerable, demanding reservation.
The electoral frame which they dominated almost zero-sum style is now fragmenting as Other
Backward Classes and Dalits enter the power game.
What is being signalled is the possibility of violence as dominant groups which lorded over
electoral democracy now feel threatened.
The horrendous violence inflicted by Jats on other communities and on property was the hallmark
of the recent struggles for reservation in Haryana.

No their demands are genuine:

The demands in Maharashtra are because most of the community dominated by farmers faced
significant agricultural distress because of the drought for the past two years.
Also the forward castes youth have become disillusioned because of the increase in
unemployment and lack of success in government jobs and they think it's because they are not
give reservation they are not able to achieve it.
Caste based reservation did not serve the purpose of equitable society as other aspects like
gender, economic aspects have been neglected.

12) Capitalism itself has coopted the caste system to enable an intensified form of
the exploitation of the labour of the Scheduled Castes. Do you agree? Critically
comment. (200 Words)
The Indian Express
Yes, I agree:

The Socio-Economic Census report indicates the utter failure of capitalism to address historical
inequalities of Scheduled Caste communities. The gap remains wide. At the same time, it also
shows how capitalism has led to a situation where the numbers of those who are poor and
deprived, across castes, form the majority of the population.
While the number of poor has increased, Dalits, because of caste oppression, are the poorer among
the poor.
When equally-qualified categories of employees are compared, the pay gap between SCs and other
social groups is an average 19.4 per cent in public sector and 31.7 per cent in private sectors.
Significantly, it notes that in the private sector, the wage gap between SCs and others has
increased in the post-liberalisation period.
with the advent of neo-liberal policies, the accelerated process of privatization, as well as a freeze
in recruitment in the Government sectors, reserved posts for Dalits, have seen drastic cuts.
Opportunities for educated members of the community have reduced in this period.

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With the advent of the era of neo-liberal policies, all new recruitment for the jobs like sweeping,
cleaning etc in the Government sector has been de-regularised even though the work is of a
permanent nature. Thus it is the capitalist State that has led the exploitation of the labour of Dalits
both in economic and social terms.
In the Gujarat model where high growth rates have been achieved with lack of ownership of land
Dalits have been the worst sufferers. This is made clear by the absence of any alternatives for Dalits
who challenge traditional caste-based jobs.

No:

Capitalism played a significant role in reducing identity of caste already in the urban areas.
There is a force of dalit entrepreneurs developing in India and with government initiatives like
stand up India, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana their future looks bright.
Blaming entirely on capitalism for the deprivation of dalits is not a logical approach. The societal
attitude, age old beliefs, insecurity among forward castes that SC benefitted because of
reservation have been dominating the minds of some Indians.
Capitalism and neo liberalisation gave the dalit community to move out of its traditional
occupations and gain mobility because of education.

13) Critically analyse the causes and significance of recent Maratha protest marches
across Maharashtra. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Reasons for Maratha protests in the recent times:

Socioeconomic :
o Lack of employment opportunities are leading them to demand reservation in government
jobs
o The trajectory of the Maratha communitys economic and political fortunes has been
marked by dwindling returns from agriculture, division of landholdings among succeeding
generations
o Lack of attention to educational training of the youth and resultant resentment towards
communities who have the advantage over them due to reservation.
o According to unofficial estimates, 35% of the Marathas are landless labourers and their
economic hardships only seem to be growing.
o Drought increased the hardship of the farmers who cultivated water intensive crops like
sugarcane in Maharashtra.
o The stress has contributed to the perception that as Marathas suffer, OBC youth, helped
along by quotas, have been steadily improving their socio-economic situation.
o There are also several poor and semi-literate families among castes not categorised as SCs
or OBCs

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o Educating the children is a huge financial strain and illiteracy amongst Marathas is on the
rise
o lower- and middle-rung Marathas feel isolated, neglected, marginalised in the job market
and denied opportunities in higher education.
o The subcaste, or parallel caste, Kunbi, was included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC)
reservation category. That, too, has fuelled the demand for reservation among other larger
Maratha groupings.
o The disgruntled Maratha youth, instead of wagging an accusing finger at the power elite of
their own caste, began to see an enemy in the Dalit community, the beneficiaries of the
reservation policy.
Political:
o Maratha organisations claim that the largest number of persons prosecuted under the PoA
are Marathas, and that this stringent law is being used to wreak revenge for reasons other
than casteist acts.
o Vote bank politics has led to the false promises by the political parties that they would
provide these dominant castes reservation when their party comes to power.
o The march seemed like it wanted to re-assert its waning clout in the new dispensation.

Significance:

The marches are disciplined, clean, huge and silent, with massive participation from women of all
age groups and girl students who are angry because they feel the future is being snatched away
from them.
The silence of the lakhs of marchers is deafening and the elite Maratha or Brahmin or Dalit are
feeling threatened.
The other reasons why the reservation demand stands on thin ice is that the Backward Class
Commission, while considering the demand in 2008, had opined that the community is politically
and economically not backward. The High Court echoed the opinion in November 2014 when it
stayed the Congress-NCP ordinance to give 16% reservation to the community. Further, MarathaKunbis, the peasant class among the Marathas, already has reservation within the OBC block.
Even though the protests have been faceless, they have got backing from Maratha political
heavyweights
The protest has been very silent but it might lead to violence like the jat and patidars protests in
haryana and gujarat.
Not a word of protest was uttered by any section of society in the state. This once again underlines
that community sensitivity or conscience.
It put the caste based reservation system in the forefront and shows that just even forward castes
have grievances economically

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Criticisms :

Media reports based on information gathered under the Right to Information (RTI) reveal that the
total number of cases filed under the act have decreased in 2015 compared to previous years.
Also, the number of first information reports (FIRs) filed under the law in Maharashtra are fewer
when compared to states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Reservation is prescribed by the Constitution for socioeconomic backward classes not the ones
which are already dominant in these states.
Violence has caused mayhem in these states leading insecurities in different communities.

What needs to be done?

First, while caste will continue to be the mainstay of reservation policies, the benefits should flow
to the vast majority of underprivileged children from deprived castes; not to a few privileged
children with a caste tag.
Second, India has to address the anger and aspirations of poor families among unreserved
communities.

14) In your opinion, which solutions are needed to help annihilate caste-based
exploitation in India? Has economic advancement helped achieve Dalit
empowerment? Critically comment. (200 Words)
Livemint
Economic advancement alone cannot remove caste discrimination:

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows that crimes against Dalits increased from less
than 50 (for every million people) in the last decade to 223 in 2015.
Economic advancement alone will not diminish the psychic traumas of caste; it may actually create
more conflict. The empowerment of these groups rather than becoming a celebration of justice
becomes a sign of fatal concoction of guilt and loss of power.
Average asset ownership is lower among Dalits in most parts of India.
The constitution provides for mandatory reservation of seats for Dalits and tribals in the Lok Sabha
and state assemblies.
The recent incidences of violence inflicted on this community and the demands for reservation by
the forward castes show that there is still lot of disharmony in the society.
However, the representation of Dalits above this mandated quota is abysmal most small
enterprises face credit constraints because they lack collateral.
Privatization of both of education and employment avenues has chipped away at the sources of
Dalit empowerment.
o The share of the public sector in jobs was 20 per cent in 2012. In other words, there is no
reservation in 80 per cent of employment avenues in the country.

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o In 1995, private institutions took in seven per cent of students who opted for higher
education. In 2014, their share had gone up to 30 per cent. This works to the detriment of
Dalits in accessing education.
o Selective discrimination has blocked the entry of Dalits in private jobs. This explains the
high unemployment rate of the SCs: 7 .3 per cent .
Outcomes of reservations in higher education were not quite as good as in government
employment. The stipulated quotas are not met either because a sufficient number do not make
the threshold of a significantly reduced minimum.
The benefits of reservations have increasingly accrued to the better-off, the more educated,
among Dalits and tribals.

Economic empowerment has played it's role:

With reservation they had access to education and adhere of occupation based on caste faded
away slowly.
Stand-Up India initiative i along with the pro-active role of DICCI has come a long way.The statistics
speaks for themselves. There are more than 3,000 Dalit millionaires.
The DICCI is playing the role of facilitator in helping eligible Dalit or tribal candidates avail the
schemes launched at the Centre and in the state. In Mudra schemes out of 3.5 lakh SMSEs, 30 per
cent account for SCs/STs.
Education and employment through reservation was a major source of upward mobility for Dalits
Given the legacy of embedded discrimination, the experience of the past 65 years suggests that
affirmative action did succeed, even if the success was modest.
o There is proportional representation for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in state
legislatures and in national Parliament, just as there is proportional representation for
Dalits and tribals in employment in government and the public sector, particularly at lower
levels.

What can be done?

Malaysian model of economic empowerment:


o The government increases the share of the poor in the capital of domestic and foreign
companies, and thereby, assures regular flow of income to them. The share of the Malay
community in companies increased from seven per cent in 1970 to about 20 per cent in
2000 as a result of this policy.
Public land and the cultivable wasteland could be distributed to Dalits for horticulture and
livestock rearing.
Equal opportunities in school education are an imperative. This would address problems of
unequal access, uneven completion rates and asymmetrical dropout rates, to progressively
diminish the need for reservations.
It is necessary to recognize that discrimination, hence exclusion, is multi-dimensional. It is not only
about caste but also about religion, gender, ethnicity and, ultimately, income.

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It is essential to accept the idea that affirmative action must be limited to first-time entrants or
first-generation learners.
Policy promotions at the Centre and in the state are going to help small- and medium-scale
entrepreneurs (SMSEs). The success of SMSEs will automatically help SCs/STs, whose land holdings
are extremely small in the agriculture sector.
It is also pertinent to remember that three-fourths of Dalits (about 150 million) still live in villages. .
Instead three policy challenges skills, manufacturing and urbanisation if addressed well, will do
more for Dalit entrepreneurs.
If manufacturing takes off in India, Dalit entrepreneurs, with a little help and nudge, will enter
manufacturing supply chains and some of them will grow into large firms in their own right.
An urbanisation strategy that focusses much more on small and medium towns and that attracts
large manufacturing investment (both domestic and foreign direct investment) will create more
opportunities for Dalit entrepreneurs in manufacturing supply chains.

15) The rationale behind instituting reservation in jobs and educational institutions
was not to eliminate economic inequality but to dismantle the monopoly of a few
castes in government services and educational institutions and to create equal
opportunities for the backward classes in an otherwise unequal society. Discuss.
(200 Words)
EPW
Yes, reservation was not to eliminate economic inequality but to dismantle the monopoly of few castes
in government services:

Reservations aim is not poverty or unemployment removal but removal of imbalance in


governance , administration, Removal of Inequality and for the establishment of Social equality,
which is a basic feature of the Constitution and is also part of article 15.
Instituted in response to social movements against Brahmin and other upper caste monopoly.
Economic criteria cannot be the base of reservation as upheld by the supreme court judgement as
well.
Because of reservation many socioeconomic economic backward class students are able to gain
quality education from premier institutes and are becoming part of administration.

No:

Noting the benefits by the reservation to the backward classes Supreme Court got the criteria of
creamy layer which also restricts the already benefited because of reservation to give way for the
needy.
Despite aiming at bringing balance in governance and administration reservation has not achieved
it's goal of social equality. still in the arenas of power, bureaucracy majority are still from forward
castes.

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Also irrespective of the community there are many economically deprived people. Especially after
globalization, climate change, lack of land reforms, use of unemployment the upper castes feel
they need reservation.

Topic: Population and associated issues,


16) Our world is estimated to currently host 7.4 billion people, and this is projected
to rise to 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.9 billion in 2050. How will increase in population
affect SDGs? Do you think Africa should be blamed for increasing population?
Critically examine. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Increase in population affects sustainable development goals:

Population growth, population ageing and decline, as well as migration and urbanization, affect
virtually all development objectives that are on top of national and global development agendas.
They affect consumption, production, employment, income distribution, poverty and social
protections, including pensions; they also complicate our efforts to ensure universal access to
health, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy.
Population growth, in particular, places increasing pressures on the planets resources -- water,
forests, land and the earths atmosphere contributing to climate change and challenging
environmental sustainability.

Africa to be blamed for increasing population:


Yes:

Africas population will reach a whopping 2.5 billion by 2050.It is Africa that will be bounding
forward in growth terms almost doubling its numbers between now and 2050.
Of the 2.37 billion increase in population expected worldwide by 2050, Africa alone will contribute
54%
The number of children the average African woman is likely to have in her lifetime, or total fertility
rate remains elevated compared to global rates. The total fertility rate of Africa is 88% higher
than the world standards.
Unfortunately, since the early 1990s, family planning programmes in Africa have not had the same
attention, resulting in slow, sometimes negligible, fertility declines.

No:

Population density is a good measure of the pressure on resources. It is a very good indicator of the
strains on food production.
o But the latest figures suggest that many of the countries in Africa are not really overpopulated by this measure: population densities in several of these countries are around or

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less than 500 persons per square kilometre of arable land which is much lesser than
the figures compared to Asian countries like China and India .
Environmental impact is a function of population, affluence and technology. The African
countries, are the least blameworthy in this respect as the majority of them get 75 per cent or more
of their energy from such renewable resources.

Topic: Poverty and developmental issues


17) A recent report of UNICEF has revealed that millions of children around the
world are victims of violence and trafficking, and are in dire need of help. Do you
think Millennium Development Goals have failed to deliver? Discuss the issue of
refugee children and measures needed to address this issue. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Millennium development goals have failed to deliver :

Trafficking in boys and girls, conscription by armed groups in conflict zones and exploitation in the
sex trade have been rampant.
In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the report finds the risk of a child dying before her or his fifth
birthday is almost 15 times higher than the risk facing a child born in a high-income nation.
In setting broad global goals the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals) inadvertently encouraged
nations to measure progress through national averages. In the rush to make that progress, many
focused on the easiest-to-reach children and communities, not those in greatest need.

MDG are successful:

The dramatic rise in school enrolment under a global universal primary education drive, or the
halving of infant mortality rates under the Millennium Development Goals.
UNICEF reports that there has been a 44% decrease in the global numbers of primary age children
out of school; stunting has reduced by 41% and there has been a 53% reduction in the global
mortality rate for children younger than five years old.
The MDGs increased donor commitments and coordination.
Nearly every indicator of human well-being -- life expectancy, literacy, income, mortality -- has
improved in the years since the MDGs were adopted.

Issue of refugee children:

According to UNICEF report, about one in three children who live outside their country of birth is
a refugee.
The UNHCR says that in the decade ending 2015, the number of child refugees almost doubled.
Last year, Syria and Afghanistan alone accounted for nearly half the worlds child refugees.
They are at high risk of mental-health problems because they are likely to have been exposed to
violence, which is the strongest predictor of poor mental-health outcomes.

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Child labour is a huge problem across the refugee communities of Jordan and Lebanon.
Xenophobic violence is on the rise across Germany and Europe.
Health complications, physical harm and risk of exploitation
Unschooled children are not only a moral challenge, but also one that has negative short-term
and long-term consequences both for the refugees, but also for their societies. Funding gaps
totalling hundreds of millions of dollars still hinder efforts to adequately educate refugee children
Sense of despair and hopelessness creates the perfect conditions for the radicalisation of refugee
children.

Measures needed to address this issue :

UNICEF has suggested the idea to dispense with the detention of children seeking refugee status
and to do away with reporting requirements, potentially benefiting 11 million.
Ensuring gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and the realization of their
human rights, must be a central driving force.
The New York Declaration vows to take into consideration the different needs, vulnerabilities and
capacities of women, girls, boys, and men, and commits to tackling the multiple and intersecting
forms of discrimination against refugee and migrant women and girls. This needs to be effectively
implemented.
Increased funding could build temporary schools, revitalise the curriculum, and train more
teachers to handle the influx of children.
The international community should push for the de-politicization of schooling and attempt to get
both sides of any conflict to agree that childrens education should continue.

18) Analyse why achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is important for
India. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Reasons why sustainable development goals are important for India:

SDGs essentially encompass Indias overall development agenda since they include health and
food, cities and infrastructure, energy access, poverty and inequality, water, sanitation, climate
change, consumption and ecosystems.
SDGs demonstrates complementary benefits from specific goals and targets.
o For instance, clean drinking water and sanitation would enhance health, leading to
improved nutrition and well-being.
o Sustainable consumption and production would reduce the use of materials and energy,
leading to mitigation of greenhouse gases, and should improve local ecosystems because of
the relation between consumption and natural systems.
Specific domains that the SDGs target align almost exactly with the objectives of Indias Five Year
Plans and government schemes.

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o First SDG, ending poverty in all forms by 2030, is of fundamental importance for India, which
had about 20 per cent of the worlds poor in 2011.
o This goal addresses aspects of poverty by understanding its multidimensional and dynamic
nature.
Similarly, making cities sustainable, setting up better sanitation facilities, reducing consumption,
making drinking water and energy services accessible to all would contribute significantly to
improving resilience to global warming. Many of these would improve system-wide energy
efficiency, which would of course reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable development thus provides an important framework for policymakers and others to
understand better how climate change can be mainstreamed into development planning in each
sector.
However these have also been criticised for being too large in number, and too wide or too
limited in their scope. Reaching the targets will also be difficult because there are no specific funds
that have been set aside to attain them.

19) In its recent report, the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development) has said that inequality is the fundamental reason for the
sluggishness in world trade. Examine why. (200 Words)
Livemint

Rising inequality has led to a tendency for under-consumption in the world as a whole and this is
the underlying reason both for the lack of investment growth as well as the slowdown in trade.
World Bank has found that greater gender equality can promote growth by increasing female
productivity, which in turn increases the productive capacity of the economy as a whole.
In the current economic situation there is rise of protectionist tendencies as is witnessed by the
BREXIT vote. This is leading to inequality in global trade.
Also globalization has accrued benefits to some and the condition of the other countries like the
African nations are still reeling under poverty, misery, violence showing significant inequality in the
trade due to lack of investments in these countries.
Different political structures in the world. The political inequality existing in the middle East made
the world sensitive to oil shocks and there has been a dip in global trade.
In agreements like RCEP ,TPP the countries which have sluggish economy are not considered this
further monopolies the trade to a few countries.

Topic: Globalization effects on Indian society


20) Critically discuss failures of globalization and their implications. (200 Words)
Livemint
Failures:

People feel that capital-intensive technologies on the one hand, and immigration on the other, as
the negative fallout of globalization. This is the inspiration behind the vote for Brexit in the UK and
Donald Trumps famous wall to keep the Mexicans out of the US.

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Sharply declining public trust in institutions and processes of governance. This is serious because
it is trust that holds societies together and lies at the heart of political, social and economic
interactions
Absence of inclusion arise from the fact that globalisation benefits the rich and discriminates
against the poor.
Rapid globalization, responsible for the sharp economic decline of the west, has
disproportionately hurt the unskilled and middle class while benefiting the wealthy.
Globalization uses up finite resources more quickly: In fact, there is also a huge increase in world
coal consumption
Globalization makes it virtually impossible for regulators in one country to foresee the worldwide
implications of their actions
Globalization transfers investment spending from developed countries to less developed
countries.
Globalization sets up a currency race to the bottom, with each country trying to get an export
advantage by dropping the value of its currency.

Success:

Overall both incomes and wealth have risen as a result of globalization and, more importantly, of
technological innovation such as the digital revolution. There is less poverty in the world today
than at any time in human history, and technology carries the promise of delivering even greater
economic gains in the future.
While there has been a significant rise in inequality in the US and UK, Japan and the Scandinavian
countries in general present a more egalitarian picture even at high levels of prosperity.

Implications :

It is not globalization as such which is to blame, but, rather, the failure of public policy and
governance. The state has mostly abdicated its responsibility to ensure equitable distribution of
the gains of globalization.
o

It has failed to empower entrants to the labour market with the skills and capabilities
required to deal with the technological and managerial challenges and opportunities that
are being spawned by globalization.

And this leads to the growing anger and resentment over rising inequality in incomes and wealth.
o Just 1% of the worlds population owns more than half of its wealth.

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21) Do you think free trade, a component of globalisation, is creating inequality


around the world? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Livemint
Yes, Free trade creates inequality :

Free trade with low-wage countries has harmed and threatens to impoverish low-skilled and
middle-class workers in the advanced industrial countries.
It may benefit only the wealthy within countries
It may increase offshoring, and may destabilize financial markets.
Sociopolitical arguments against free trade cite social and political effects that economic
arguments do not capture, such as political stability, national security, human rights, and
environmental protection.
Critics note that free trade undermines cultural diversity, causes dislocation and pain, and
undermines national security.

No:

Inequality within societies has widened considerably in recent decades. But this is not because of
international trade or movements of people; after all, cross-border trade and migration have been
happening for thousands of years.
The main problem is legal lag. The lawyers and corporate elites who draft and enact the legislation
and regulations that govern globalization are disconnected from those who are supposed to
implement the policies at the local level.
From a liberal perspective, free trade leads to some change in the distribution of income in the
country, this change moves towards something close to meritocracy. Indeed, entrepreneurs or
workers who were highly educated, trained and qualified are those who benefit the most from
free trade.
The unqualified labor jobs that would disappear in a sector due to an opening to free trade would
be created in another sector with a highest added value.
The purchasing power of middle-class and working class households rose by 26% due to
globalization's relentless reductions in the cost of imported goods.
Cheap imports, offshoring of production and the global expansion of financial markets have driven
U.S. corporate and financial profits to unprecedented heights.

22) Discuss the impact of globalization on Indias middle class. (200 Words)
Benefits:

Average Indian has become more wealthy and productive during the above phase. Globalisation
has definitely led to more scientific attitudes in life. It has effected a quantum jump in the living
standards of the professional upper middle class.

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The average Indians earnings have grown by a measly 3.5 per cent over a 20 years period of
economic reforms of which globalisation is a component.
With the arrival of MNCs in automobile, telecommunications and information technology
(hardware and software) sectors, employment opportunities have increased and so have salaries
for professionals in the upper echelons of business organisations.

Concerns:

Entry of huge capital has not helped the common man because most of this money was absorbed
in non productive investments like real estate and bullion thus pushing their prices into the nonaffordable zone.
It has increased crass commercialism and made the average population more materialistic.
Fast food chains and outlets have bred fast food habits
Exposure to western culture has brought permissiveness, especially among youngsters.
In the name of greater individual independence, traditional virtues of joint family system are
being jettisoned.
Life in general, has become more competitive and consumerist which has bred enormous stress.
Technological implements, in many cases, have been used for wrongful ends. An example is the
ultra sound apparatus which has been brazenly misused for aborting female children in the womb.
The worst effect of globalisation has been on the intellect of our educated elite. They are a
confused lot today. The reason for this is heavy bombardment of ideas and information from all
over and the inability of Indians to reconcile them with their traditional notions and concepts.

23) It is said that the next phase of globalization will pose many challenges and
opportunities for India. What will be the nature of next wave of globalization? How
should India make use of this new wave? Discuss. (200 Words)
Livemint
Nature of next wave of gobalisation :

Shifts in geopolitics, and the trade and financial architectures point to a growing divergence
between economics and politics.
The market is losing ground to the state and labour advantage is giving way to digital advantage.
These trends are driving the emergence of a new model of globalization.
It is unlikely that export-led trade growth, a core feature of the old model, will continue to be the
primary driver of GDP growth going forward.
Growth:
o The new model will be a shift towards multipolar world. Countries will have varied growth
trajectories, with many EMs becoming less reliant on exports and focusing more on boosting
domestic demand.

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Technology:o In the next phase, there will be complex multi-technology value chains that blend digital
technology with the earlier low-cost technologies. There will also see greater integration
across products and services.
o Moreover, global platforms are likely to assume increasing importance, as companies rely
on these platforms for exchange of goods and services.
Governance:
o It will become more complex with the emergence of a multi-institutional governance
architecture, wherein regional and local regulations will coexist alongside global rules,
balancing national political interests with global multilateral economic agendas.

How should India make use of it?

Hence, for India to ensure sustained, medium-to-high level of growth, the primary policy thrust has
to be on shoring up domestic demand, as opposed to relying on external trade.
Stimulating domestic demand will require identifying services sectors such as tourism and
healthcare, and incentivizing investments by improving the ease of doing business and driving
greater fiscal consolidation.
Large-scale, internal reforms will be the most critical driver for boosting domestic consumption,
and ramping up domestic investments will be as important as attracting foreign direct investment.
Digital boom:
o Rising adoption of digital technologies and associated services is another potential growth
driver for India.
The ambitious Make in India initiative, geared towards establishing the country as a low-cost
manufacturing hub, has to evolve a strategy to embrace the opportunities presented by the digital
21st century.
Highly competitive small and medium enterprises will be central to the growth of the
manufacturing sector over the next two decades. A supportive policy regime that not only
addresses the sectors myriad problems will be critical for their success.
India needs to recalibrate its job creation strategy. Industrial activity will continue to create jobs
but not at the same pace as in the past.
o As manufacturers big and small embrace digital technologies to remain competitive, they
will shed jobs.
o At the same time, there will be a dramatic growth in both digital and non-digital services,
centered on manufactured products, as the boundaries between products and services blur.
Understanding this huge structural shift and putting in place a policy framework that
facilitates their growth will be critical.
Under-penetrated non-manufacturing services sectors such as construction, tourism and
healthcare will have to be at the forefront of this push for creating both growth and new jobs.
Skilling must continue being a critical focus area for the government. However, skill development
needs to move away from the traditional model of vocational training.

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With the rise of digital technologies, traditional labour tasks get automated, workers will
need to do increasingly complex activities and need the skill set to learn quickly and on the
job.
o There will be the need for people who are drone programmers, robot worker managers and
so-called professional tribers those who assemble freelance teams quickly. Policymakers
must revamp Indias skilling programmes to prepare the domestic workforce to deal with
these requirements.
Infrastructure investments will be critical for India to sustain its pace of economic growth. Beyond
physical infrastructure, large-scale investments in technology will be required to ensure
competitiveness be it robots, sensors and cloud computing for manufacturing, or high-speed
connectivity and data pathways for supporting the global services industry.
Global trade is increasingly being governed by bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that
are altering market dynamics.
o For example, if the planned TPP passes, it will shift manufacturing competitiveness as
additional trade benefits will be provided only to companies located in member countries. .
o Against this backdrop, India must assess its representation in such forums vis--vis
traditional multilateral ones like the World Bank and IMF.

24) Differentiate between globalism and globalization. Do you think both are good
for the world? Substantiate. (200 Words)
Livemint
Globalism vs globalisation:

Globalism is the belief that world shares one fragile planet whose survival requires mutual respect
and careful treatment of all its people and its environment.
Globalism is also a set of values and ethical beliefs requiring active practice in day-to-day lives.
Active communications to foster understanding, the sharing of resources on the basis of equity and
sustainability, and mutual aid in times of need are three central activities that undergird globalism.
Globalism is the belief that the well-being of each and every neighbor, no matter how far away,
affects us all
However Globalisation is the process of international integration arising from the interchange
of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.
Globalization can be located on a continuum with the local, national and regional. At one end of the
continuum lie social and economic relations and networks which are organized on a local and/or
national basis; at the other end lie social and economic relations and networks which crystallize on
the wider scale of regional and global interactions.
One key aspect of globalization is an economic process, corporations move money, factories and
goods around the planet at ever more rapid rates of speed, searching for cheaper labor, cheaper
raw materials, and weak consumer, labor and environmental protection. Another aspect of
globalization is the political ideology the assumption that humans and the planet will be better off
if the global market is left unfettered.

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Globalization refers to the increase or decline in the degree of globalism.

Globalism is good and there are some concerns with globalisation:

While globalism incorporates the idea of the Global Commons to describe the ozone layer,
oceans, and genetic diversity, globalization is the exploitation of these resources by giant
corporations beyond the reach of democratic processes.
While globalism implies respect for diversity, globalization demands the standardization or
homogenization.
Globalism is the weapon for tackling the global ecological and social crisis that is being caused by
unbridled globalization, including the political violence of war and the personal violence of crime,
racism, and xenophobia.
As globalization causes greater poverty and hunger, it fuels involuntary emigration, which, in turn,
may result in racism and fear of immigrants. In this way, globalization destroys the feelings of
globalism, love and concern with neighbors around the planet, while creating the economic and
ecological conditions that cry out for more, not less, globalism.

However globalization played a significant role:

Overall both incomes and wealth have risen as a result of globalization and, more importantly, of
technological innovation such as the digital revolution. There is less poverty in the world today
than at any time in human history, and technology carries the promise of delivering even greater
economic gains in the future.
While there has been a significant rise in inequality in the US and UK, Japan and the Scandinavian
countries in general present a more egalitarian picture even at high levels of prosperity.
Average Indian has become more wealthy and productive during the above phase. Globalisation
has definitely led to more scientific attitudes in life. It has effected a quantum jump in the living
standards of the professional upper middle class.
The average Indians earnings have grown by a measly 3.5 per cent over a 20 years period of
economic reforms of which globalisation is a component.
With the arrival of MNCs in automobile, telecommunications and information technology
(hardware and software) sectors, employment opportunities have increased and so have salaries
for professionals in the upper echelons of business organisations.

Failures:

People feel that capital-intensive technologies on the one hand, and immigration on the other, as
the negative fallout of globalization. This is the inspiration behind the vote for Brexit in the UK and
Donald Trumps famous wall to keep the Mexicans out of the US.
Sharply declining public trust in institutions and processes of governance. This is serious because
it is trust that holds societies together and lies at the heart of political, social and economic
interactions

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Absence of inclusion arise from the fact that globalisation benefits the rich and discriminates
against the poor.
Rapid globalization, responsible for the sharp economic decline of the west, has disproportionately
hurt the unskilled and middle class while benefiting the wealthy.
Globalization uses up finite resources more quickly:
o In fact, there is also a huge increase in world coal consumption
Globalization makes it virtually impossible for regulators in one country to foresee the worldwide
implications of their actions
Globalization transfers investment spending from developed countries to less developed countries.
Globalization sets up a currency race to the bottom, with each country trying to get an export
advantage by dropping the value of its currency.
Entry of huge capital has not helped the common man because most of this money was absorbed
in non productive investments like real estate and bullion thus pushing their prices into the nonaffordable zone
It has increased crass commercialism and made the average population more materialistic.
Fast food chains and outlets have bred fast food habits
Exposure to western culture has brought permissiveness, especially among youngsters.
In the name of greater individual independence, traditional virtues of joint family system are being
jettisoned.
Life in general, has become more competitive and consumerist which has bred enormous stress.
Technological implements, in many cases, have been used for wrongful ends. An example is the
ultra sound apparatus which has been brazenly misused for aborting female children in the womb.
The worst effect of globalisation has been on the intellect of our educated elite. They are a
confused lot today. The reason for this is heavy bombardment of ideas and information from all
over and the inability of Indians to reconcile them with their traditional notions and concepts.

Topic: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna
and the effects of such changes.
25) This year, floods have occurred even in areas that are arid or have received less
than normal rainfall. As erratic weather events become more common with climate
change, India urgently needs to formulate a national flood management
policy. Discuss. (200 Words)
Down to Earth
Currently there are some problems in flood management in India:

There is no national-level flood control authority in the country.


problem begins with the methods of estimating the flood-prone area of the country
The very definition of flood-prone area does not reflect the effectiveness of the flood management
works undertaken,

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It is clear that while the maximum area flooded in any one year may broadly indicate the degree of
the flood problem in a state, it does not strictly indicate the area liable to floods as different
areas may be flooded in different years.
Even when flood management projects are evaluated, the reports are not credible. Most post
project evaluations did not have enough data.
International and inter-state issues, fund constraints, population pressure and lack of
infrastructure were the main difficulties in implementation of some of the recommendations of the
reports.
Lack of communication between states and among countries is another reason for devastation
caused by floods

Government measures :

Rashtriya Barh Ayog (National Flood Commission or RBA) was set up by the then Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigation in 1976 to study Indias flood control measures
National disaster management act

What is needed to be done ?

Scientific criteria need to be adopted to assess flood-prone areas. This should be based on
frequency of flooding and period of inundation as gauged by contour maps and satellite imagery.
The need for timely evaluation of flood management projects. State irrigation and flood control
departments, CWC, Ganga Flood Control Commission and the Brahmaputra Board need to be
adopted or discarding them on the basis of their performance.
State governments should legislate on floodplain management, particularly encroachment and
floodplain zoning
o But apart from Rajasthan and Manipur, no state has enacted laws on floodplain zoning.
Same is the case with legislations on encroachment. Only Bihar, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar
Pradesh have laws against encroachment of floodplains
State governments must focus on maintenance of completed works rather than constructing new
structures. Over 90 per cent of these have outlived their life and need maintenance.
In view of climate change and varying precipitation and river flow patterns, hydraulic structures,
embankments and reservoirs must be designed. Dams should be designed with a cushion to absorb
flood runoff.
Similarly, embankments, which are currently designed to withstand floods once in 100 years in
urban areas, need to be designed to withstand floods once every 10 years
When one state releases water from a dam it must inform the states that fall in the lower reaches
of the river well in advance. This would give time for evacuation.
There is also a need to improve forecasting capacity. At present, 175 cwc stations measure river
levels and 1,289 automatic rain gauges of IMD measure precipitation.
While CWC and IMD have begun modernising, the coverage of rain-gauge stations in hilly areas is
still inadequate.

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26) Discuss the effect of global warming on oceans. (200 Words)


The Hindu
Negative effect:

The worlds waters have absorbed more than 93 per cent of the enhanced heating from climate
change since the 1970s, curbing the heat felt on land but drastically altering the rhythm of life in
the ocean.
Heat also means microbes dominate larger areas of the ocean
Global warming also has an enormous impact with respect to melting glaciers and ice sheets.
Higher global temperatures melt glaciers such as the one in Greenland, which flow into the oceans,
adding to the amount of seawater.
The rise in sea level along coastal regions carries implications for a wide range of habitats and
inhabitants.
Wetlands are extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels, since they are within several feet of sea
level. The threat posed to wetlands is serious, due to the fact that they are highly productive
ecosystems, and they have an enormous impact on the economy of surrounding areas.
ocean currents provide the necessary nutrients for life to sustain itself in the lower latitudes.
Should the currents slow down, fewer nutrients would be brought to sustain ocean life resulting in
a crumbling of the food chain and irreparable damage to the marine ecosystem.
The ocean is the largest sink within which carbon is stored. When waters become saturated with
carbon, excess carbon has nowhere to go, because the currents are not bringing up enough fresh
water to fix the excess. This causes a rise in atmospheric carbon which in turn causes positive
feedback that can lead to a runaway greenhouse effect
Another effect of global warming on the carbon cycle is ocean acidification which would further
intensify coral bleaching.
A study on the phytoplankton changes in the Indian Ocean indicates a decline of up to 20% in the
marine phytoplankton in the Indian Ocean, during the past six decades. The tuna catch rates have
also declined abruptly during the past half century, mostly due to increased industrial fisheries,
with the ocean warming adding further stress to the fish species.

27) In the light of climate change and erratic monsoons, what long term measures
should be taken to solve water problem in the Cauvery River basin? Examine. (200
Words)
The Hindu
Measures needed to solve water problem in Cauvery River basin:

Ban sand mining:


o In the districts surrounding the Cauvery, rampant sand mining has altered the natural
topography of the river, eroding its banks, widening the river, and altering water flow
patterns.

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Promote afforestation :
o Deforestation across the basin has contributed to reduction in rainfall, soil erosion, and
flooding, with hundreds of thousands of trees being decimated to make way for plantations,
urban construction, and agriculture.
Control industrial discharge into the river:
o There is no farming activity for kilometres on the side of tributaries such as the Noyyal,
polluted by Tiruppurs textile industry. The toxic sludge from industrial effluents builds up
on the river bed, further reducing its capacity for storage.
Increase Government funding :
o Government funding for de-siltation of the rivers channels has to increase.
Change agricultural patterns:
o Once an area of millet cultivation, the Cauvery basin has transformed into a location for the
cultivation of high-yield paddy and sugar cane, both water-intensive crops.
o There needs to be a redesign of the farming system, keeping in mind in particular the water
requirements of the crops planted after the onset of the south-west monsoon.
Change in government policies:
o The perverse incentive structure through the MSP regime of paddy has to be reversed here.
o Utmost need for a river basin organisation (RBO) above the states .It is only a strong RBO
that can take a basin-level approach to water management.
Other measures:
o Need to find ways to recharge the river, increase inflow of water, clean up hotspots of
pollution, and increase the efficiency of water use.
o limit the growing consumption of water for cities and towns along the river.

Topic: World geography


28) What are stromatolites? Why their discovery is important to understand
geological history of the earth? (200 Words)
Livemint
The Hindu
Stromatolites:
Stromatolites are formed when microorganisms, such as certain kinds of bacteria, trap bits of

sediment together in layers.


These layers build up over time to create solid rock.
Why their discovery is important ?
They show that life emerged fairly shortly

in geological terms after Earth was formed some 4.5

billion years ago


They offer hope that very basic life may at one point have existed on Mars.
This discovery represents a new benchmark for the oldest preserved evidence of life on Earth
older than the earlier discovery in Australia.
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The structure and geochemistry of the rock in which they were found provided clues to a

biological

origin for the microfossils.


Existence of stromatolites suggest that the very simple single-cell organisms that made them were
present on Earth hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought.
The earliest fossil evidence of life on Earth has been found in rocks 3.7 billion years old in
Greenland, raising chances of life on Mars aeons ago when both planets were similarly
desolate.
Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian
subcontinent)
29) From geographical perspective, critically analyse why the Cauvery River water
dispute is complicated and has not found a viable solution till date. (200 Words)
Livemint
Why Cauvery river dispute is so complicated?

It is a dispute which is 150 years old.


In the agreements signed in 1892 and 1924, under the law Mysore could do nothing that would
curtail water supply to Tamil Nadu, the lower riparian state. Karnataka did not implement these
agreements.
o Instead, it formed four new projects by constructing dams across the tributaries of Cauvery,
without getting clearance from the central government, Planning Commission, and Central
Water Commission.
Karnataka constructed four projects on and near the Cauvery: Harangi, Kabini, Hemavathi and
Suvarnavathy. For these, Karnataka did not get the prior consent of the Tamil Nadu government.
From 1974, Karnataka started diverting river flows into the four new reservoirs. Unable to resolve
the dispute, the Centre referred it to the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in 1990.

Why has it not found a viable solution till date?

The two States continue to avoid any mutual engagement to share the shortfall during distress
years.
TN says that the total volume of water from Karnataka for flowing down to the Mettur dam is
becoming less and less. It also alleges that the water releases were not being made in time to meet
the need of cultivation of crops, particularly in the Cauvery delta of TN.
There is no permanent, independent mechanism to ensure this like Cauvery management board
which the Cauvery tribunal recommended in 2007.
When it comes to the Cauvery waters, the property rights definitions of upstream Karnataka and
downstream Tamil Nadu (TN) are divergent.
Prime driver of the conflict is the Governments inadvertent incentivisation for paddy cultivation,
in order to satisfy its avowed purpose of food security. This increase happened mostly in the

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Karnataka part of the basin (by almost 25 per cent), while the area in Tamil Nadu basin remained
more or less the same.
MSP:
o With relative market prices moving in favour of paddy, there has been a shift in acreage
from ragi to paddy, thereby increasing total water consumption manifold, as crop-water
requirement of paddy is almost 15-20 times of that of ragi.
The State-level driven decentralised structure for water management in the basin has failed.
Further decentralisation may aggravate conflict.

30) Drafts of two proposed new laws recently released by the Ministry of Water
Resources, along with the report of an expert committee headed by a member of the
erstwhile Planning Commission, Mihir Shah, on institutional reforms in the water
sector, have proposed radical changes in the way water is used and managed in India.
Discuss what reforms does these laws and committee propose. (200 Words).
The Indian Express
Reforms brought by the committee and the draft laws are:

They lay down the broad principles of water-related policies in a country that is likely to be
classified as severely water-stressed in about a decade if current patterns of water usage continue.
Integrated planning:
o There must be integrated planning on, and governance of, water resources, and
groundwater, river water or surface water.
o As many as 11 different Departments or Ministries handle the subject of water in different
ways, according to a CWC note.
o The idea is to ensure that policies and regulations framed by these different agencies are in
sync with each other, and adhere to a broad national water policy.
Conservation of water:
o demarcate groundwater protection zones, in which the extraction of water would be
strictly regulated. Groundwater security plans should be prepared for each such zone.
o Activities like mining in the nearby areas, which tend to pollute groundwater, are also
sought to be regulated in these zones.
Owners of land would not have any right over the groundwater beneath, and thus would not be
able to indiscriminately pump out water.
There is a certain minimum amount of safe water that is necessary for sustaining human life, and
every citizen must be entitled to this minimum amount as a matter of right. This amount may differ
from region to region, and would be defined by the local government.
Differential pricing
o This principle seeks to recognise that a majority of water uses would eventually have to be
priced, in order to economise usage and raise resources for efficient management.
River basin as unit of planning:

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o Given the integral link between aquifers, groundwater and river flows, it is important that
planning for water management is done at the level of the river basin itself.
o This is necessary to prevent local over-extraction, and destruction of catchment areas,
while ensuring that all water-related activities are in sync with each other.
o There should be a River Basin Authority for each basin, and sub-basin authorities for large
basins with distinctive sub-basins. The work of these authorities would be to prepare and
implement river basin master plans.
o Rivers should be protected from construction on flood plains and from sand mining.
Participatory and community management of water
o This is to emphasise the role of participatory management of water resources, including
irrigation. Local communities must have a decisive role in the allocation and use of water in
their areas.
o Water User Associations need to be established with statutory powers at the gram
panchayat level to facilitate decentralised decisionmaking.

Reduction in industrial water footprint


o Industries consuming large amounts of water must calculate and declare their water
footprint in their annual reports. There must be prohibitive penalties to prevent profligate
usage of water, which may include denial of water supply services beyond a threshold.

Multidisciplinary view of water:


o India requires professionals from disciplines other than just engineering and hydrogeology.
Two, we need to adopt the participatory approach to water management that has been
successfully tried all over the world, as also in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra
Pradesh.
The Bills in a first also propose fines ranging from Rs.5,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 depending on the level
of infraction and who the perpetrators were.
There would also be an incentive for those who cultivate less water-intensive crops.

Concerns:

The present legislation doesnt attempt to decide if the States or the Centre ought to have the
final say in developing or conserving water bodies.
The proposed national water commission gives rise to the following issues.
It can become an another bureaucratic body .
Awareness regarding Irrigation mechanisms is not much in India as rainfed areas grow water
intensive crops .So awareness building is a challenge.
Central water commission is opposing the move because of the insecurity of the employees.

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Topic: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


31) For multiple reasons, Indian cities are largely auto-constructed. Put simply:
they have been built not by the intentions of planners or architects but by people
themselves. What challenges this type of urbanization in India has posed to
dwellers and policymakers? Examine. (200 Words)
The Hindu
Challenges to dwellers:
In Indian cities, one of the biggest blocks is that a large number of fellow urban residents are not

considered urban residents at all . The grounds of their exclusion are particular to the way our
cities have been built.
o In Delhis last reliable statistic on this in 2000, only 24 per cent of the city lived in a
planned colony.
o Nearly three-fourths of the city, lived or lives some distance from this legal and planned
norm.
In multiple legal challenges, courts have refused to acknowledge the urban right to water citing
spatial illegality even if this leaves the basic needs of thousands unmet, their dignity denied.
Unplanned urbanisation causes over-crowding leading to a growing concentration of people living
in slums and unstable settlements. Housing shortages are also created.
Rapid urbanisation also creates challenges like pollution, health problems and rising crime levels
due to the pressure on limited urban amenities

Challenges to policy makers:


City's infrastructure is not a network. It is a set of fragmented

splinters. This creates challenges to

the policy makers to provide services to the urban areas.


Infrastructural spending is not keeping up with the growing needs of cities where a large
proportion of the population lacks access to water supply and sanitation facilities;
Large-scale migration from rural areas is causing a lack of job opportunities in urban areas
increasing the incidence of poverty and inequality
No clarity on division of powers
o when a city grows unplannedly it's outgrowth engulfs the surrounding villages as well. This
causes confusion under whose authority this is covered whether it's a panchayat or a
municipal corporation.

Unplanned growth leads to hide generation of waste. The sewage and the waste management is
already under par in Indian cities . This would further trigger the situation.
Regulation of Illegal constructions would be a huge problem.
Especially during natural calamities without planned growth disaster mitigation is a failure .

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What can be done ?


develop more satellite cities, that could ease the pressure on the main urban cities.
comprehensive urban redevelopment plan, that takes a holistic look at the issues, instead of just

creating a few privileged clusters.


Rurban mission needs to be effectively implemented so that rural areas are provided with urban
amenities leading to more opportunities so that migration eases pressure on major cities.
32) What and how should public transit systems in Indian cities learn from
aggregators service providers like Uber and Ola? Examine. (200 Words)
Livemint
What should public transit systems in Indian cities learn?

Transparency and accountability when the customer is not satisfied with the service and the driver
details are given before hand.
Tracking the trip can ensure safety to the customer.
Technology is used at its best with GPS,digital transaction of money.
The fare for the ride is calculated before hand itself to make the customers aware.
Multiple options of travel like pooling is also available which can be affordable and also fuel
efficient.

How?

In Delhi The app-based bus scheme offers the creation of a Passenger Aggregator, a registered
company that would use IT to aggregate passenger demand, something like an Uber or Ola for
buses.
The behaviour of the public transport employees need to be trained so that customer is treated as
a king not as a liability.
The information about the staff in the bus van be publicly displayed which shows that the system is
transparent.

33) In recent years, cities have become war theatres for global terrorism. What
makes cities targets of terrorism? How should they prepare to fight terrorism?
Discuss. (200 Words)
Livemint
Reasons why cities are target if global terrorism:

Cities are public spaces with dense concentrations of people. For instance whether it's Brussels,
Istanbul, Paris etc the similar pattern is visible.
Cities are agglomerations of resources and possibilities.

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They are critical nodes in global exchanges of capital, information, skilled labour and technology.
Operations within a city transcend national and territorial boundaries.
Airports, public spaces, transport systems and embassies are not arbitrary choices for terror
attacks, but calculated readings of what makes a city run and how the impact could be
communicated across territories.
They are the dominant sites of economic, social and political power.
It is difficult in urban areas for security forces to differentiate unusual behaviour or to control
access to urban locations.

How should cities prepare to fight terrorism:

Techniques for recognising the indications of impending attacks, and for quickly assessing
responsive capabilities, must be improved.
Countering terrorism requires partnerships.
o These partnerships need to exist within all levels of national government, law enforcement
agencies, private sector and the communities, as well as an integrated approach in
collaboration with international partners and key allies. Partnership with citizens is equally
important.
When policy-makers consider the introduction of new technologies in the context of
counterterrorism, they should identify and address potential privacy issues as early as possible in
the capability assessment and procurement process.
Project servator in United kingdom:
o It involves using undercover officers trained in behavioural analysis to spot people who
might be scoping out sites for a potential terrorist attack.

34) Recently, Bangalore witnessed violent mobs setting fire to private and
government properties in the wake of River Cauvery water sharing judgement by the
Supreme Court. Why do you think metropolitan city like Bangalore witnessed such
a violent event? What systemic issues should be addressed to prevent such
incidences? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Livemint
Why Bangalore saw such a violent event?

Uneven development:
o For at least a decade-and-a-half now, people in Karnataka have chafed at being left out of
the obvious economic benefits of the information technology (IT) boom in Bengaluru
The disparity isnt just between the rural and urban parts of the state, but within its cities
themselves.
It has the third highest inequality (0.44) in urban areas according to another Mint study.
Uneven distribution of water:

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In March, thousands of farmers in tractors brought the city to a halt as they protested the
unequal distribution of water between Bengaluru and the rest of the state.
Insecurity that they are losing jobs because of benefits for other states :
The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Jaya Karnataka, Kannada Okkoota and Kannada Sena, all fringe
regional groups, have grown both in following and importance over the years.
o Their emergence is similar to the emergence of the Shiv Sena in Mumbai in the 1960s.
o The Shiv Sena tapped the disaffection of Maharashtrians worried that migrants, especially
Tamils, were taking the best jobs in the city. The situation in Bangalore shows a similar
pattern.

Systemic issues to be addressed are:

Over exploitation of groundwater for decades and lack of remedial measures have been
impacting the level of groundwater in these districts. This need to be taken care of.
Water conservation should be made a habit.
o Misuse, indiscriminate use, inefficient use and overuse of water, which people think are
freely available, should be contained through rules.
o However, the government should make serious efforts to promote rainwater harvesting
not just among urban residents but also farmers who should be encouraged to dig farm
ponds to save water in the agriculture field.
o The government should also take steps to restore lakes, tanks and canals through NREGS.
Law and order should be strictly enforced and section 144 needs to be Implemented at the earliest.
Harmony needs to be brought in the diverse Bangalore and people need to be made aware of the
consequences of loss of property.

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